Thursday, August 4, 2016

James R. Benn,Evil For Evil

James R. Benn, Evil For Evil
Soho Press, Inc. 2009
ISBN 978-1-56947-593-5 (Hardcover)
Also available as an ebook.

Romans 12:17: "Recompense no man evil for evil."  Hard words to abide by in 1943 in Ireland. 

Billy Boyle has been sent to northern Ireland to discover who has stolen 50 BAR rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition from a US army base,  (Just before he leaves Palestine, where he and Diana have been recovering from the traumas of their recent assignments, his relationship with her has a major disruption.) 

He will be working with Subaltern Slaine O'Brien, a woman from the Republic of Ireland who is working for MI5.  He finds a tangle of wrongdoing, some related to the missing weapons, some not; he befriends an older man (Grady O'Brick) who had been an IRA member, and was tortured by the English, in the early 1920s.  He will also be working with a Royal Ulster Constabulary detective, Hugh Carrick (a protestant, and a member of a society composed of relatively powerful men).

One of the themes deals with the claims of family and of religion, and is quite nicely done. 

And people begin dying, including an IRA member (shot during or after the theft), an enlisted man who was on duty when the weapons were stolen, and an American officer. 

It is quite a tangled web, and, if the book begins somewhat slowly, it picks up speed--and tension--as we move along.  With help from an unexpected source, Boyle. O'Brien, and Carrick discover what has happened, and why. 

Not the best in the series (but since the first three were all brilliant, this is not a criticism), still very, very good.  And watch out for the Pig.

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